Posts filed under ‘pay attention’

Parents: Need Help With Your ROUTINES?

When I was growing up, getting ready for my new school year was a BIG deal! We didn’t have school uniforms to worry about, but getting first day outfits and our routines in place was top on my mother’s list of To-dos. My mom was the queen of organization and routines,! Everything was a well-organized process. 

As a kid, her routines were a pain in the neck. But what I didn’t know was that each routine she established for us, made it easier to run the household and manage my brother, sister and I. She rarely got rattled, unless of course we didn’t follow the routine. And it wasn’t good when we didn’t follow Mom’s routines. Her processes and routines were like growing up in a well-run manufacturing plant. Everything had a place (organization) and there was a routine for mornings (before school), afternoons (after school) and evenings.

As I got older, my mother explained her rationale behind her fanatical routines and why it was so important to get us involved at an early age. For example, she had a rule that we couldn’t take our afternoon naps until we had put away our toys. This is important for those of you with young children who hate to take naps (like I did). She had me convinced that I couldn’t go to sleep UNTIL my toys were put in the toy box. I didn’t think to say – “Hey Mom, I don’t want to take a nap at all!” All I knew what that I couldn’t put my toys away fast enough to take my nap. The key here is that you start teaching your children at two & three years old to pick up their toys. It’s much easier to get their cooperation at this age, rather than wait until they are five & six to teach this concept.

As much as I joke about my mother and her routines, they worked well for me when I became a mom. I have an entire list of practical tips to help you establish routines whether your children are in preschool, elementary or high school. For today’s blog however, I will share 5 tips with you.

  • Tip 1: Give yourself 45-60 minutes before you wake up your child(ren).
    This time without little people talking to you is golden. Pray/meditate/exercise and take your shower. If you are leaving the house for work, put on your make-up. This is important especially to do before your preschool aged children (who are not used to doing tasks without your help and may not be morning people) get up.
  • Tip 2: Wake up your child (ren) an hour before they have to leave home.
    This tip goes hand in hand with Tip 1, if you have children who don’t like getting up in the mornings. It’s nothing like rushing a cranky kid out of the house. An hour may not be enough time (you be the judge), but it gives your son or daughter time to get acclimated to being awake, talking with you and their siblings and getting ready for school
  • Tip 3: Establish a bedtime for ALL school aged children (even high schoolers) preferably by 8:30 pm.
    I know I know! The teen can’t believe you’re making him or her go to bed at a specific time (without their phone and iPad). Surely the world is going to end! I had an 8:30 pm bedtime throughout my high schools years and I hated it. I also hated getting up at 5 am to make it to my 8 am classes way across town. As an educator, if my students got sleepy in class, we would talk about their bedtime and often they were allowed to talk on their cell phones throughout the night. AMAZING! How do you function with raging hormones, lots of class work, extracurricular and no sleep?
  • Tip 4: Look in their backpack (daily).
    When our children start pre-school, it’s a given that you will check their backpacks daily. It’s important because you may be putting in a change of clothes daily and who wants to leave soiled clothes in a backpack overnight? Yuck! But once your child starts elementary school, a daily backpack check is just as important to keep up with notes and homework assignments that are being sent home by their teacher. It not only keeps you up to speed on what’s going on in class, it helps your child with organization.
  • Tip 5: Connect with your middle & high schoolers every day.
    This is near and dear to my heart for two reasons. One: bullying is rampant in middle school and high school. I ran home from school every day in fifth grade because of a school bully and it was a nightmare. My mom helped me get to the point where I wasn’t afraid of the school bully, but it was a process. Since I share a room with my sister, there was no retreating to my room and closing the door. My folks wouldn’t hear of it. Fast forward to today with social media and instant communications, I would have probably tried to hide what was going on by retreating to my room and silently burying my shame. Two: Middle and high schoolers have LOTS of secrets. Taking time to have a real conversation daily is important. You never know what they will tell you. BTW – ask open ended questions like “tell me about your day”.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me to receive information about my inspirational & practical parenting programs. Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker
www.clynnwilliams.com

 

August 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

2 Tips to Help You Prevent Gun Accidents With Your Kids

greys anatomy shooterI was watching Grey’s Anatomy last night, and their subject was about two 8 year old boys who had been playing with a gun and one of them got shot. Since I don’t watch the show regularly, I’m not familiar with each doctor, but as a mom and parent coach, the story line had my full attention!

I  also wondered how the boys had gotten a hold of a gun. When the mothers arrived at the hospital, the mother of the boy who had been shot admitted that it was her gun and that it was locked in a box. So how did they get in the locked box? During surgery, the female doctor asked that question as well – how did the boys get the gun if it was locked up, and where was the babysitter.

That was my question too, and I thought about growing up, when my sister and I would look through everything in my parents’ bedroom when they weren’t home. You would have thought we were pirates looking for hidden treasures. The fact is, we were inquisitive, just like those two boys.
My question about Where was the babysitter was answered by one of the young doctors who asked the babysitter:9_year_old_Vista_boy_killed_in_gun_accid_2973600000_18614212
Where were you?”
“Why weren’t you watching them?”
“How long were you away from them that they had time to unlock the gun box and take it out AND play with it.”
The young babysitter got immediately defensive and said two things that as a parent I HATE hearing – “This was NOT my fault” (whose fault was it ma’am?) and “They are 8 years old; they’re not babies that need watching every minute!” (No they are inquisitive boys who if not monitored, get into anything & everything.) Duh!

To find out what happened to the gunshot victim, you’ll have to tune in to last night’s Grey’s Anatomy, but my point here is 1) What you think is put away or locked away, given enough time, can be found or opened. Trust me. 2) If something terrible happens to your child, whether they are busy or quiet types is something you will regret for the rest of your life. Something simple like your daughter trying to shave her legs like you, or your son drinking nail polish remover (true stories) doesn’t matter – all you’ll remember is what you were doing that they were able to get into something they shouldn’t have.

Tip 1: The older your kids get (yes teens are included), the more you want to keep tabs on them. They are often in unbelievable situations and need us to be there for them unconditionally.
Tip 2: No matter what your belief is in the 1st Amendment – (the right to bear arms), keep your guns out of your home where your young kid can find them or your teen who is depressed/suicidal, or trying to prove something to his peers, tries it just for the hell of it – the outcome is usually deadly. Great message #ShondaRimes

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring Finding Superwoman program for Working Moms, parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters or Mothers and Sons. Email me at: info@clynnwilliams.com

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author, Family Coach, Speaker
www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)
NEWEST→ Yours & Mine: The Winning Blended Family Formula (220 Publishing, 2015)

April 23, 2016 at 4:12 am Leave a comment

Teaching Millennial Young Women…OMG

young-women

I have been absent from this blog for the last month. Hard to believe, but it’s true and I apologize to those of you who look forward to my weekly posts. I have a good excuse though; I’ve been teaching a group of young ladies that have given me a run for my money. Call them young female millennials.

These young women are outspoken, opinionated, oppositional and hard to love. Many of them have dysfunctional relationships with their mothers – they have said “I hate my mom”, don’t respond well to rules and have very short attention spans.

I took it personally at first and couldn’t understand why I was dealing with this type of student. Then I realized that many of you have these young girls or women in your home. These are your daughters and they are not easy to parent or get close to. There are many reasons explaining why our daughters appear distant from us.  It could be the fast pace of social media; how women and girls are portrayed in the media, or the inattention that they receive at home from us their mothers and fathers when we’re busy.

I know we have to change our mindset in order to reach this generation. They love technology. That means we can’t hate technology and expect to stay in touch with our girls. Whether it’s through texting, emailing, Face-timing or Facebook messages, talk to your girls and let them know you love them and are there for them.
millennial women 2
While the attitudes of these students were enough to make me think about retiring early; I realized that I was being given an opportunity to do what I love to do – get close and share my love with this millennial generation – your daughters. There are all kinds of things going on in their young lives. Some good; some not so good. They just need to know that someone really cares and is listening. No matter what type of outward attitude they give off.

Keep the lines of communication open Moms…your daughters really are listening.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for millennial daughters, aging parents, or mothers and sons.

Email me at: info@clynnwilliams.com

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author, Coach & Family Dynamics Specialist

www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)
NEW: Yours & Mine: A Winning Blended Family Formula (220 Publishing, 2015)

 

November 2, 2015 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Staying Sane While Parenting Teens

Diverse Group of Teenagers - IsolatedRadio Show with Lon Woodbury (September 30, 2013)

With the lack of communication between parents and their teens in homes today, today’s guest on Parent Choices for Struggling Teens, C. Lynn Williams shared some “time tested tips” and strategies for parents to “stay sane” while raising their tweens and teens with host Lon Woodbury. In order for parents to stay sane, to keep their cool and not lose their temper, the first thing parents need to do is take care of themselves! With the life changes parents are also going through, it is important to take care of yourself, get out and get some exercise and get more sleep (rather than getting by on less.) In addition, having healthy meals together as a family is a must. There are great discussions and conversations that can come up, plus you get a visual on how your teen is doing- both physically and emotionally.

Some general tips that C Lynn recommends include: consistency. Especially on this brink of adulthood, parents need to have a wall of structure and consistent follow through. “No idle threats…if you say it, then you mean it” shared Lon. Another tip: you have to remain and remember that you are the parent. You are not their friend and as a parent there are standards you have to uphold. Lastly, you need to build individual relationships with each child. Spend time exclusively with each child and get to know them because each one is different. When they need to talk, they can then come to you to talk, from building the relationship and trust together. “Find out what their ‘love language’ is, ways your child receives and accepts love, whether it is attention, gifts or words of affirmation. Yet be appropriate in praising your teen, don’t praise them unless they have truly earned it…be honest with your teen.

For those with tweens, remember they are at the age where their hormones are in full force. “They still want to please you and then the next second, they don’t like you.” During this puberty stage there are lots of influences in your child’s life. The girls want to belong and the boys are centered on sports. This is a good time to get your child involved in extracurricular activities. They need to be kept busy and they need to be in a structured setting. And the good thing that comes out of this is the friendships they make, they want to please their coach, they are not sitting on the couch becoming a couch potato and they get a chance to explore their different interests.

When it comes to a parent needing to seek help for their out of control teen, “you should do so when you notice a drastic change in their behavior, their temperament, if they are quite and morose, depressed or you notice weight gain or weight loss” says C Lynn. And the first step to take is to contact the school and make an appointment with the school psychologist. “Just talk to your kid and if they won’t talk, seek help.”
“Parents need support, like in the old days; everyone on the block would look out for each other’s kids. We need to get back to that again. Involve the teachers, involve the neighbors, give them your phone number and have them call you if they see something not right with your child.

To listen to the full interview, go to Staying Sane While Parenting Teens on LATalkRadio

Contact:
Lon Woodbury, MA, CEP, IECA
208-267-5550
lonwoodbury@gmail.com
http://www.strugglingteens.com

Featuring:
C. Lynn Williams
Parenting Coach, Author, Speaker
224-357-6315
cgwwbooks@yahoo.com
www.clynnwilliams.com

October 14, 2013 at 11:03 am 14 comments

Managing Your Teen’s Mental Health (Issues)

Have you ever been in your own world, and someone makes a statement that completely changes your perspective, or as my mother used to say “disturbs the calm peace of your soul”? It happened to me today. I was sitting in church waiting for the sermon to begin, slightly distracted (with all of the things I wanted to accomplish later), and the pastor started talking about mental illness and the shame often associated with it. I kind of dismissed the topic because it didn’t seem relevant to me or my family members, but the more he talked, the more the sermon topic affected me.

When I talk to people about mental illness, I think of schizophrenia and manic depression (bipolar disorder). Those are probably the most widely known mental illnesses. Mild chronic depression (dysthymic disorder), affects about 3.3 million American adults over the age of 18, per year: http://depression.emedtv.com/depression/depression-statistics-p2.html One in five children experience mild depression before adulthood. Ten to fifteen percent of children and adolescents have some symptoms of depression. Those symptoms include restlessness, irritability, thoughts of death or suicide. Excluding the thoughts of death and suicide, restlessness and irritability are common moods experienced by teens, and not easily noticed by parents and caregivers.

My pastor’s topic centered around the fact that people close to us, like our family members can be affected by mental illness and often we are ashamed of those family members. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. When you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you modify your diet and take medication to get better. For most mental illnesses, you can take medication, see a therapist or mental health professional and lessen or improve one’s symptoms. But because of the stigma attached to mental health, many people do not get the help they need before it’s too late.

As parents, how do we recognize the signs of mental illness in our teens and help them handle their everyday pressures and decisions? According to Dr. Arthur Schoenstadt, there is no one cause of depression. Factors like a family history of depression or substance abuse, certain medical conditions, gender, stressful life events, or personality types increase a teen’s chance of developing depression. Most often, once identified and acknowledged, depression is treatable with psychotherapy and antidepressants.

In my own family, there is a history of brilliance and mental illness. My uncle Donald, whom I never had the good fortune of meeting, was a brilliant scholar who committed suicide in his early twenties. Nobody (in the family) ever talked about him or really understood what he was facing that would cause him to take his life. My brother suffered with Crohns’ disease for about five years before deciding to end his life. As I write this article, my heart goes out to parents who never recognized the signs of mental illness in their deceased teen, whether it was depression, bipolar, eating, conduct disorders, or schizophrenia. Your teen is not just having a series of bad days, and once the season changes, will feel better. They may need meds to feel better.

Here are some symptoms to watch for:
– Very angry much of time, cries a lot, or overreacts to things;
– Worthless or guilty a lot;
Anxious or worried a lot more than other young people;
– Grief for a long time after a loss or death;
– Extremely fearful-has unexplained fears or more fears than most kids;
– Constantly concerned about physical problems or appearance;
– Frightened that his or her mind is controlled or is out of control.
http://www.cumminsbhs.com/teens.htm

If you suspect that your child or teen is experiencing any of these issues, contact your child’s school psychologist or talk to a mental health professional.

C. Lynn Williams,
Author and Parenting Coach
#MsParentguru

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)

March 4, 2013 at 5:44 am 4 comments

We Care…

These last two months have been tumultous months of chaos and violent events especially geared toward children and women. Just in the last two weeks, I have read about violence in Illinois, Colorado, Indiana and now Connecticut and China. I used to write that the violence that we are experiencing in our country is based on the breakdown of the family, lack of morals being taught in the home, or a lack of discipline. That is probably an easy answer. A more honest answer is that brutality and violence are common in TV shows, movies, comics, etc. and what way to look “cool” than to do the unconscionable – hurt someone! That may be a simplistic answer as well, so I’m not sure why there is such an attack on humanity, but the killings that are occurring in our homes, schools, businesses and communities is alarming to say the least!

What can we do as parents to shore up and protect our children from the chaos that is currently taking place in our world? There is no guarantee that you and your loved ones will be reunited at the end of the day. So here are my suggestions:
1. Love and hug your kids EVERYDAY!
2. Explain and communicate in a way that your child understands your care & concern for them!
3. Be concerned about other kids in your community as well, and
4. Support the teachers in your child’s life.

We are experiencing an enormous shift in how little we interact with each other and how easy it is to hide behind the technology that conveniences our lives. My son and daughter tell me they can always tell if a good television program is on. They can tell because I can hardly say two words together – I am distracted. Today is not a good time to be distracted from our children. We miss things they feel, think, say and do when we are distracted.

My heart goes out to the victims of domestic violence, dating violence, gun violence, and bullying.

CLW

December 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm 2 comments

Nurturing Young Kids

I was on my way to school and noticed a young man walking in front of a very young child, possibly a toddler. The “toddler” was hoping behind his dad and his dad was talking on the cell phone, oblivious to whether the child crossed the street safely or not. I was bothered by the entire scene, and I have seen this many times. The parent is in front of their child, and not paying attention to that child. What happened to walking down the street holding hands with your child? We were not allowed to cross the street without holding the hand of our older sibling or parent. What in the world are these people thinking about?

What are your thoughts?

March 22, 2012 at 2:16 am 2 comments


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